Insider tip: Never made a tamal? It won’t matter when you tackle the Chocolate Tamales recipe in this week’s Food. So easy, even I could do it! And they taste great.

The tamale recipe comes with today’s story by Regina Schrambling about new trends in wedding food here. Read it, and the next time you’re at a fabulous reception you won’t be surprised when a food truck rolls up.

Speaking of things that taste great, our pie recipes this week are terrific. Bonnie Benwick went to pie class and learned the secrets of master pie baker Kate McDermott (and brought back a recipe for one of her wonderful fruit pies). At the opposite end of the spectrum, read about things that taste terrible — to some folks, that is. Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic writes about her lifetime aversion to one food in particular and about adult picky eaters in general.

That’s a lot to take in, so get busy. You also have to make it to today’s Free Range chat, which starts at noon. Bring your questions, and we’ll see you there. Meanwhile, we’ll tide you over with this question from a previous chat:

In a blogpost about last month’s Fancy Food Show, the author wrote that “Potatoes, themselves, are sans gluten.” But aren’t we told not to overbeat mashed potatoes (particularly by putting them in a food processor) because it develops the gluten and makes gummy and gray? So it must be in there somewhere.

It’s true that you’re not supposed to overbeat mashed potatoes because they’ll get gummy. But in this case, the culprit is starch, not gluten. Potatoes are gluten-free, and potato flour sometimes substitutes for wheat flour in gluten-free foods.

When you gently mash potatoes by hand or put them through a ricer, many of the starch molecules remain intact. But when you subject them to the violent churnings of a metal blade or beater, things can get ugly. The starch molecules break, the starch mixes with the water in the potato and voila! You have glue. But not glu-ten. There’s a difference.